Read This First

We have moved to a different blog: We Choose Harmony

To see why, read this post: From Internal to External.

But feel free to read this blog for background information.

In October of 2010 Erin was diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder, formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder. This blog is to record what is going inside Erin's mind. We don't know what all that will entail... But we are hoping that keeping a record of it will help in some manner. We also hope that maybe, just maybe, that we'll heal from whatever issues that we have and come out victorious.

All personalities or identities within Erin are invited to write here; each entry will be marked with who is writing.

If you are a survivor yourself, there are no trigger warnings on the entries... Please be careful as you navigate this blog. If you are a significant other of someone with DID/MPD, our hope is that this blog may be of some use to you, but please remember that every person with DID is very unique and must be considered as their own case.

Thank you for visiting!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Blending -- Tommi & Morrigan

In therapy, we have been discussing a sub-goal with our counselor that we have come to call "Blending." Our current definition of Blending: 

Two or more alters coming together in thought and behavior to the point where it may become difficult to distinguish where one stops and the other begins. Thoughts become aligned and are as one. However, the alters are still distinct and are in control of different functions. 

We realize this definition is rather... confusing. However, due to the nature of Blending, it's a bit hard to define adequately. Instead, let us explain through our experiences with it. 

As we have mentioned before, we work at a summer camp as an assistant cook. While we are working, Morrigan, Tommi, and Grace work together so seamlessly that we share thoughts and behavior. Morrigan tends to take the role of the "public face," interacting with the campers and speaking to the Counselors and cook for us. Tommi takes the role of controlling our body; he chops the vegetables, mixes the kool-aid, and makes sure we drink enough water. While Grace stays in the background (where she claims she cannot feel the heat nor our sweat) and feeds us energy from her own personal store. While we are Blending, we do not think "Oh, Morrigan needs to do this now," or "Tommi, cut that for us, will you?" It is seamless; we do not have to address each other to know exactly what must be done and who will do what. We have found that we can communicate with one another as individuals while Blending, but we have to concentrate in order to do that. 

After work, we sit down, relax, and allow ourselves to separate and become very distinct yet again. The exciting thing about Blending is that we still know who is who while still being able to do what we need to do without stopping to directly communicate with one another. 

We by no means want Blending to be our only existence because it's mentally taxing to maintain this state for a whole day. Also, it's like never being allowed to have alone time and we get rather tired of each other's company faster when we Blend. However, we feel this is a great alternative to Integration because it is a temporary state over which we have control. It is also a useful tool to have under our belt for when we have a part- or full-time job. Our counselor could not be more happy about our progress in this direction.

However, we have run into a potential downside to Blending. 

The camp's head cook quit right after the lunch meal on Tuesday; fortunately, there was not an evening meal to prepare since it was scheduled for a pack-out, which is when they eat a meal at their units. The head cook promised us that he would not quit because he wasn't there for the money, he was there for the Counselors, the other assistant cook, and us. We took him for his word... And then he broke his promise. Morrigan, Tommi, and Grace immediately went into a meltdown. Honestly, it was Morrigan and Tommi who were freaking out, but Grace was drawn into the emotional break since she was Blended with them. 

For the first time, there was no one to come out and take care of life while the rest of us freaked out inside. Ellie was available, but sending her out was not an option. So we were forced to deal with the stressful situation like any other average person. It was terrifying. 

Fortunately, our bosses were very supportive and they alleviated our fears (that working int the kitchen would turn into how it was last year: a nightmare) and things were eventually okay. Morrigan even learned that sometimes it's okay to admit that you're not alright. 

While this effect of Blending is manageable, and, honestly, healthy to learn how to handle, it is definitely an unexpected effect.

We really hope this hasn't been as confusing as it could have been. We're still trying to figure out how to explain this phenomenon. So if any clarification is needed, please ask! We really need the feedback. 

(This article was written while Tommi & Morrigan were Blended together.)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The rustling of old memories -- Morrigan

Last summer, our sister managed to get us a job at a camp kitchen as an assistant cook. This year, we took the same job. However, this time our co-workers and working conditions are much, much more pleasant.

The camp we are working at is almost in the middle of no where. At least, it feels that way. It's about 20 minutes to the nearest town and it is in the middle of a state park. It's right next to a decent sized, but not huge, lake in which the campers can swim and canoe. The camp is very peaceful and wonderful. The only "big" problem is that we mostly don't have air conditioning and the kitchen is frequently over 120F (about 49C). The head cook talked to the higher ups and was able to convince them to get us a very small A/C unit in our small break room (where we sometimes take naps between meals).

I went on a night hike with one of the counselors (her camp name is Kaleidoscope); her and I are becoming good friends. When we headed back, Kaleidoscope got a bit turned around and it took us a while to find our way back to the trail.

I felt lost. I felt like a little kid again. I began to see evergreen trees instead of the leafy trees that were actually there. I felt cold, like I was back in Maine. I was so scared. Tommi helped me as much as he could by telling me I was safe and that Kaleidoscope knew where she was going and we were going to be okay. His encouragement probably kept me from having a meltdown. When we got back to the lodge where I sleep, I was a wreck. Kaleidoscope was worried, but I passed it off by being afraid of the dark, which is partially true. 

A year and a half ago, when I finally understood and came to terms with what was happening, I set my life in Alter aside and embraced my new life in this "new" world. I thought that meant that my past couldn't haunt me anymore, so I left it alone and didn't think much more about it. I learned to work through my distrust of people, my prejudice against humans, and my anger issues. I adapted to this new life well. I love Erin's parents and I call them "my mom" and "my dad." I love the many friends that we've collected. I love going to the coffee shop. I love my new hobby: Magic the Gathering. I love my internal family. 

My personal triggers became nonexistent. Listening to others talk about things that had also happened to me didn't bother me. I didn't like discussing what all my dad in Alter had done, but I thought it was because it wasn't important anymore. I had the chance to become somebody completely different, and I took complete advantage of it. 

So the flashback to when I was about five or six years old came out of no where for me. Since then I have been working to not being afraid of the woods at night. I've been writing down everything I remember about what my dad in Alter did. It's painful, but I know I need to get rid of it. I want so desperately to be free of anything that will hold me back. I would rather be anxious now while facing my fears than be afraid all the rest of my life. I already told a few of the counselors that I am planning on going on night hikes with them. I have been invited to stay out in the middle of the woods at a unit by a counselor as well. I have every intention of doing it. I know I'm going to be scared as hell, but I will survive and I will come out stronger for it.